Plank (exercise)

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This article is about the isometric exercise for the abdominal muscles. For the lying down game, see planking (fad).
For other uses, see Plank.
Recruit performing a plank at a US Coast Guard training

The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.


The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. The arms should be directly under the shoulders, with the entire body in a straight line (from toes to head) and the back completely flat, neither arched nor rounded.[1] Many variations exist such as the side plank and the reverse plank.[2][3] The plank is commonly practiced in pilates and yoga, and by those training for boxing and other sports.[4][5][6][7]

The "Extended Plank" adds substantial difficulty to the standard plank exercise. To perform the extended plank, a person begins in the push-up position and reaches their arms/hands as far forward as possible.[8]


The plank strengthens the abdominals, back, and shoulders. Muscles involved in the front plank include:

Muscles involved in the side plank include:

World Record[edit]

In April 2016 the world record for a front plank, resting on elbows, was set by former Marine officer and retired Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent George Hood with a time of 5 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds.[9] This was broken in May 2016 by Chinese policeman Mao Weidong, who formerly held the record and regained it by planking for eight hours, one minute and one second, .[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Proper plank technique
  2. ^ Knack Weight Training for Women: Step-by-Step Exercises for Weight Loss, Leah Garcia, p. 57. Quote:"Plank variations are abundant, and small changes increase the intensity of the exercise."
  3. ^ Weight Training for Dummies, Liz Neporent, Suzanne Schlosberg, Shirley J. Archer, p. 263.
  4. ^ Core Strength For Dummies, LaReine Chabut. Quote:"It's used in all yoga sun salutations and other poses. It is also a Pilates-based exercise used in many of Joseph Pilates exercises..."
  5. ^ Pocket Guide to Fitness, Louiza Patsis, p. 176. Quote:"The "plank exercise" is used in Pilates classes."
  6. ^ Kettlebells for Dummies, Sarah Lurie, p.260. Quote:"If you've done other exercises like yoga or Pilates before, you may be familiar with the plank position already."
  7. ^ The Ultimate Fitness Boxing & Kickboxing Workout, Ross O'Donnell, Trafford Publishing, 2005, ISBN 978-1-4120-6451-4
  8. ^
  9. ^ Former Marine Officer Breaks World Record Plank to Benefit Semper Fi Fund, Monica Garske.
  10. ^

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Planks at Wikimedia Commons